Chicago Athletic Clubs LLC (CAC) and its eight member-gyms are on the receiving end of a proposed class action filed after the organization allegedly canceled a rewards program without allowing members to redeem their accrued points or otherwise cash out their rewards.
The lawsuit, filed in Illinois state court, explains that CAC operates eight gyms in the Chicago area—Evanston Athletic Club, Lincoln Park Athletic Club, West Loop Athletic Club, Lakeview Athletic Club, Lincoln Square Athletic Club, Wicker Park Athletic Club, and Bucktown Athletic Club—that participated in a rewards program initially rolled out in December 2015. Through the CAC Rewards Program, members, the case continues, could earn points for certain activities, such as checking in at a gym, completing gym challenges, referring friends, posting workouts on social media, and purchasing personal training sessions. Points could then be redeemed “at any time” for various goods and services, including merchandise, guest passes, training sessions, and monthly membership dues, the suit says. According to the lawsuit, nowhere on the defendants’ website or in marketing materials did the gyms mention that points could expire.
On July 16, 2018, however, the defendants allegedly canceled the CAC Rewards Program, effective immediately, without providing prior notice to club members. The defendants, the case says, informed members in an email that they would be unable to redeem their points and would not be compensated for unused points. The lawsuit argues that members were robbed of the value of their unused points and would not have invested their time and money in the defendants’ goods and services had they known they would have no opportunity to redeem their rewards.
The case notes that after one of the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the defendants, they partially reinstated the program to allow members to redeem points they had already accrued. The suit argues, however, that although members could cash in some of their points, they could not earn more points to save up for the rewards they wanted and would inevitably be left with at least some unused points. From the complaint:
“After Defendants terminated the CAC Rewards Program, had Plaintiffs and Class members selected a combination of products and services that would allow them to redeem the maximum possible number of their accrued CAC Rewards Points, they would still have additional CAC Rewards Points remaining that they could not use because the amount of remaining points would be less than the number of points needed to obtain the product/service that ‘costs’ the least amount of points to obtain. At a minimum, Plaintiffs and Class members are entitled to the value of these remaining points.”